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Old 03-12-2008, 07:16 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,296,292 times
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It's March in Alabama. That means, almost like clockwork, cars with Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan license plates start rolling north on I-65 through the heart of the state.

I'm fascinated by this migratory pattern. Huge numbers of Canadians drive south in November and drive north in March. During the winter, the Alabama and Florida panhandles are positively filled to the rafters with snowbirds.

Which leads me to ask...Do you towns empty out during the winter? Is it exclusively old people? How do Canadians cope with a different health care system during the four months they live down here? Any particular difficulties Canadians face? Do you all just get together and watch hockey? How do you manage staying away from home for such long periods of time?

I hope these questions don't offend. I'm sincerely curious how this all works.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:26 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,160,769 times
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While most Canadians likely know someone who heads south for the winter, the towns certainly don't empty out. At the last census, Canada had a population of roughly 34 million, so a few of stay home to keep the streets clear.

While working folks may take off to the sunshine for a week or so, most of those heading south for longer periods are retired.

Canada's health care insurance will reimburse Canadians the same amount they would pay for a procedure if done in Canada. Because US health care providers charge considerably more than that amount, Canadians heading south generally either have supplementary insurance through their employers, or they purchase health insurance before leaving Canada.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Canada
19 posts, read 145,954 times
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Its pretty much exclusively old retired people who go south by bunches. The cities by no way empties during that time, the number of snowbird is significant yet its a very small part of our population. Their insurance must cover them, at this age they wouldn't take that chance.

I don't know if they watch hockey by satellite in a Winnebago but they do travel by bunches, I even heard that they receive the "Journal de Montréal" in Florida exclusively where they are located and eat Poutine and some old has-been singers from Quebec go sing at the places where they hang out. I think for Quebecers, they are mostly in Hollywood, Florida.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:53 AM
 
4 posts, read 36,449 times
Reputation: 13
Default You're kidding right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
It's March in Alabama. That means, almost like clockwork, cars with Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan license plates start rolling north on I-65 through the heart of the state.

I'm fascinated by this migratory pattern. Huge numbers of Canadians drive south in November and drive north in March. During the winter, the Alabama and Florida panhandles are positively filled to the rafters with snowbirds.

Which leads me to ask...Do you towns empty out during the winter? Is it exclusively old people? How do Canadians cope with a different health care system during the four months they live down here? Any particular difficulties Canadians face? Do you all just get together and watch hockey? How do you manage staying away from home for such long periods of time?

I hope these questions don't offend. I'm sincerely curious how this all works.
May I ask how old you are? Just curious. It almost sounds like you might also think we are all up here walking around in snowshoes, hunting buffalo and survive without power or know all of each other - lol! I have lived here all my life and don't particularly like to watch hockey or any sport. Travel anywhere involves insurance, wouldn't you want insurance? And being away from home for 4 months - how do we manage??? Our towns empty out??? Lol - what notions! Do you see famalies travelling at all, many own properties south of the border as do Americans own cottages up North. I am sorry but to read your questions, it almost seems like you resent Canadians. At least I first thought that. I am pretty sure you'd find we are all a mixed bunch, as you would almost anywhere. Just regular folk.

Last edited by Freehartz; 03-13-2008 at 06:56 AM.. Reason: adding
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:12 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,296,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freehartz View Post
May I ask how old you are? Just curious. It almost sounds like you might also think we are all up here walking around in snowshoes, hunting buffalo and survive without power or know all of each other - lol! I have lived here all my life and don't particularly like to watch hockey or any sport. Travel anywhere involves insurance, wouldn't you want insurance? And being away from home for 4 months - how do we manage??? Our towns empty out??? Lol - what notions! Do you see famalies travelling at all, many own properties south of the border as do Americans own cottages up North. I am sorry but to read your questions, it almost seems like you resent Canadians. At least I first thought that. I am pretty sure you'd find we are all a mixed bunch, as you would almost anywhere. Just regular folk.
I'm 45 and been to Canada more than a dozen times, thanks, for both business and pleasure. Part of my question was tongue-in-cheek, but it appears you missed what was a good-hearted jest. Don't be so thin-skinned.

The question stems from the fact that I was driving home from a client meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, yesterday and passed literally dozens of Canadians with their cars and RVs laden down with clothes, barbecue grills, and anything else you care to name--all seemingly determined to not drive more than one mile over the speed limit. There were a couple of Michiganders mixed in, but it seemed to be almost exclusively a Canadian pilgrimage.

What's more, picking up and moving households for four months a year is a logistical nightmare, no matter what you might think. One poster helpfully answered my question on the healthcare bit.

So my original question really pertained to how many Canadians do this? And how do they pull it off? I'm guessing with the favorable exchange rate, plenty more are doing it this year.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:22 PM
 
170 posts, read 826,189 times
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Favorable exchange rate? It's just about par the last time I looked.

And as for driving not more than one mile over the speed limit...don't you know we are all incredibly law abiding.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:28 AM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,160,769 times
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Quote:
passed literally dozens of Canadians with their cars and RVs laden down with clothes, barbecue grills, and anything else you care to name--all seemingly determined to not drive more than one mile over the speed limit.
There's a long-standing tale about local cops, especially in southern areas, taking great joy in writing speeding citations for those with out of state or out of country plates.


Actually, moving an entire household for moths at a time isn't nearly as difficult as you might imagine.

A family member owns a mobile in Florida and spends 5 months a year there. They leave most household items and seasonal clothing in Florida and come home with 3 suitcases.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:12 AM
 
5 posts, read 24,545 times
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I guess I'm one of those "old snowbird Canadians". Actually, I'm 55 and live in Canada 8 months a year and have a house in southwest Florida where I spend approximately four months a year. In my case, I am self employed (bank appraiser and realtor) so I work hard for 8 months of the year and play hard (golf, tennis, etc etc) for 4 months a year. My husband works full time in Canada but he has the priviledge of working from "home" so he is able to work via computer even from Florida. Yes, health insurance is a must. Canadians must reside in Canada for approximately 6 months a year to keep our health insurance valid. However, buying "out of country" insurance is a must and the older you get, the more expensive the insurance. It also has exclusions so if you have anything wrong with you, they aren't going to cover you for that particular illness/disease/condition. That said, it isn't just Canadians heading south. In my neighbourhood we have many people from Ontario but even more people from New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, PA, Georgia, Indianna, Ohio, etc.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 20,631,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerguy1 View Post
There's a long-standing tale about local cops, especially in southern areas, taking great joy in writing speeding citations for those with out of state or out of country plates.


Actually, moving an entire household for moths at a time isn't nearly as difficult as you might imagine.

A family member owns a mobile in Florida and spends 5 months a year there. They leave most household items and seasonal clothing in Florida and come home with 3 suitcases.
Canadians generally don't speed. I know because I pass them all the time here in Georgia and my wife- a Canadian- doesn't speed. But remember that when you go to Canada, they try to trick you into speeding. They have signs that will say "Speed Limit 100" and you might try to go 100 but 100 mph American is like 60 mph Canadian!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:09 PM
 
207 posts, read 672,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Canadians generally don't speed. I know because I pass them all the time here in Georgia and my wife- a Canadian- doesn't speed. But remember that when you go to Canada, they try to trick you into speeding. They have signs that will say "Speed Limit 100" and you might try to go 100 but 100 mph American is like 60 mph Canadian!
FYI....
There is no such thing is Canadian mph
In canada we measure speed using Kilometers per Hour (kph)
In US they measure speed using Miles per Hour (mph)
1 mph = 1.60934 kph
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